The first time we put Tom into his cot it dwarfed him. He looked like a peanut in an empty warehouse. We filled the space with soft toys and spare blankets but still he looked lost.
Somehow, over the last year or so, despite our watching him intently he’s managed to sneak the act of growing past our eagle eyes. He’s grown stronger, sturdier, more self willed and determined. And longer.
And the cot has slowly shrunk around him. First it reduced itself from warehouse to wrestling ring – allowing Tom to charge around its railed edges in an endless game of ring o’ roses. And then it shrank further still. It became a one child pay pen. At full stretch Tom was practically touching the far edges with his toes.
And then, inexplicably, it became a pleasant prison. One he never complained about being inside – thankfully Tom has always loved his bed – but one he suddenly began to try and escape from a couple of mornings ago. The early signs were there. Tom was gearing himself up to “go over the walls” (as opposed to smuggling himself out with the laundry).
Such activity sounded the death knell for the cot. The drop down to the floor was such that Tom would be likely to suffer a broken neck or at the very least broken limbs.
Such a likelihood was simply unacceptable.
So the cot was dismantled yesterday afternoon and reconfigured into a proper bed. Tom’s first.
I must admit I felt... sad, regretful. There was something comforting about bedding Tom down in his cot each night. He was safe and secure. Contained. He could come to no harm and no harm could come to him.
He was also still my little baby boy.
Now, suddenly, I have had to re-adjust my thinking. Accept that he is no longer a baby. He is a very active, singularly determined toddler. He’s a proper little boy.
After we’d rearranged the bedroom yesterday afternoon we allowed Tom a little playtime in it. This proved to be a good move. He was very excited by the changes and his frequent squeals of “ooh look” indicated he was pleased with the new arrangements.
The test was bedtime of course. Rather sagely we managed to wear him out so that he’d be less reluctant to get out of bed and it seemed to work. He was tucked in and snuggled down. All his usual furry toys were there.
I snuck up to see him after half an hour and found him sprawled on top of the bed – the blanket kicked off as usual – sound asleep. Mission accomplished.
This morning he was up at 6.10am, running around the bedroom, dipping his little fingers into all this amazing stuff that Ben leaves lying around in the room they share. He loved it. So much so he really didn’t want to go downstairs today and only did so under duress.
So. Another developmental stage has been encountered and passed. The baby has gone. And I shall miss him dearly. But the boy that has appeared in his place more than makes up for the loss. I daresay as his confidence grows his morning wanderings will take him to the stair-gate at the top of the stairs or to the bathroom and all its myriad opportunities for mischief... I suspect I shall not get much of a lie-in for the next week or two...
But despite and perhaps because of that I feel immensely proud.
Welcome to a little bit more of the world, son.